- The Washington Times - Friday, April 21, 2006

[4:20 p.m.]

WINDSOR, England (AP) — Cheering crowds, red-jacketed bandsmen in bearskin hats and ceremonial gunfire saluted Queen Elizabeth II on her 80th birthday today, but clouds denied the monarch her wish for sunshine.

Wearing a cerise coat and matching feathered hat, the queen appeared promptly after noon through the Henry VIII gate at Windsor Castle.

Prince Philip, her husband of 58 years, briefly trailed behind but then moved off to greet other sections of the crowd, estimated by police to number 20,000.

Today’s events included a 21-gun salute at Windsor, a 41-gun salute at Hyde Park in London and a formal dinner at Kew Palace. But for monarchists and celebrity spotters, the day’s big event was the chance to greet the queen outside the imposing castle begun by William the Conqueror.

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